A LARGE GEMSTONE HAS SOLD AT AUCTION

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A gemstone, billed as one of the largest
gem-quality opals ever found, was sold for $143,750 at auction in
Alaska on Sunday.

The opal, dubbed the “Americus Australis,” weighs more than
11,800 carats, according to the auction house Alaska Premier
Auctions & Appraisals. It also has a long history.

Most recently, it was kept in a linen closet in a home in Big Lake,
north of Anchorage, by Fred von Brandt, who mines for gold in
Alaska and whose family has deep roots in the gem and rock
business.

The opal is larger than a brick and is broken into two pieces,
which von Brandt said was a practice used decades ago to
prove gem quality.

Von Brandt said the stone has been in his family since the late
1950s, when his grandfather bought it from an Australian opal
dealer named John Altmann.

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posted by Bob Karm in Auction,CURRENT EVENTS,Gems,HISTORY and have No Comments

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